19 Aug 2018

Water announcement disappointing - campaigner

6:53 am on 19 August 2018

A water rights campaigner says the Green Party's promise to have water extraction considered in the next review of the Overseas Investment Act doesn't go far enough in dealing with the problem.

Bottled water

Bottled water Photo: 123RF

The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, which passed this week, stops overseas investors buying properties in New Zealand, with some exceptions.

Amendments are already being developed and the Greens say they've got the government's support to look at whether stronger tests should be set for land sales involving bodies of water.

But Bung the Bore spokeswoman, Jen Branje, said that wasn't good enough, with a review merely a band-aid for a gaping hole of a problem.

"You can't go anywhere in the world, apart from New Zealand, and get water free for export... it's a mineral, they're mining it, so they should be charged for it.

"I'm pretty disappointed with this announcement, I don't think it goes far enough and it's more a statement of intent."

The National Party has also criticised the review, saying it was just a broken promise from the last election campaign.

The party's spokesperson for Land Information, David Bennett, said committing to a review went against their previous commitment to banning new water consents for export.

"We don't know what's going to happen there, we don't know a time-frame, we don't know the criteria for it."

Mr Bennett said it was easy for the Greens to say they would review the rules, but they had so far failed to implement their promised ban since being in government.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs